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troubleshooting Question

desktop icons missing-winxp home

Avatar of ejhcolorado
ejhcolorado asked on
Windows XP
27 Comments1 Solution6092 ViewsLast Modified:
Hi all,

I am working with a senior citizen whose desktop icons have been missing for the last 3-4 weeks. I can access her computer remotely, and have been doing so successfully as I try to resolve this issue. I have looked at several of the postings about missing desktop icons, and will list what I have tried, and what I know about the problem.

My friend reports that 3-4 weeks ago she downloaded a free screensaver (yes, I've talked to her about downloading things liek this) from Popular Screensavers. Since then, she has no icons. The desktop is a blue color.The task bar, Quick Launch bar, and sys tray are visible. If I right click on the desktop, all of the menu items from the Arrange Icons By choice are greyed out. I removed the Popular Screensavers programs, and a couple of other downloads she had, through the Control Panel applet.

I have already done the following: scan with AdAware and removed appropriate findings, scanned with Windows Defender--nothing found, scanned with Hijack This and evaluated the log  at www.hijackthis.de. I removed the indicated entries.

I made 3 attempts at System Restore. Each time I get a message that the restore could not be done.

I also  looked at her display property settings to see if the icons were somehow only showing on a second display. Her settings don't allow for a second display. I also have tried to change her settings from Desktop-none, to one of the Windows Desktop choices. Each time I choose a desktop, it reverts back to None. No matter which Windows theme or Desktop choice I make, the Desktop stays empty.

Perhaps this is unrelated, but I have noticed that I cannot adjust the startup items on her computer using msconfig. When I try, I get a message that I should be logged in as Administrator. However, she is logged in as the Administrator, so I don't understand that either.

Any ideas short of reinstalling Windows? What about Windows repair? She has a Dell computer, so she only has the Dell Restore disk--would that suffice? If I do a Windows repair, will all of the programs and data files need to be reinstalled, or does repair not change any of those things?

Thanks in advance for your help.

EJH in Colorado

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